LumberJocks

Rigid R4512 seems too big for me, but I don't need mobility. What to get?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by ppg677 posted 01-22-2016 04:25 PM 1152 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ppg677's profile

ppg677

78 posts in 315 days


01-22-2016 04:25 PM

Hi,

I’m a novice woodworker. After taking a class, I’ve made a couple end tables and a nightstand (hand-cut mortise/tenon joints and hand-cut dovetails). I have ambitions of making some larger furniture like a chest of drawers, writing desk, and nice bookshelves. Weekend hobby for me.

I’ve been using a little 1960 Cummins Saw Table, which is little more than a fairly weak circular saw attached to a steel table (making a table saw). It’s been OK— biggest struggle has been perfect 90-degree cross cuts (with a sled I made…probably not perfect) since my not-so-perfect crosscuts sure make sliding dovetails a bear! That and rip cuts aren’t entirely clean, and it would be nice to do dados at some point rather than my hand-cut tenons (though a router table would seem to work for this as well).

My dad recently gave me a generous Home Depot gift card and implored me to get something different since he thinks I’ll chop my fingers off.

After some research, I was planning on going with the Rigid R4512 since I’ve read that bigger/heavier is the way to go for fine woodworking unless you really need to go to different job sites. Well I don’t need to go to different job sites. But I finally saw a similar-sized saw in person (the comparable Craftsman) and had no idea how huge it was! I need to provision 58” wide by 32” deep….I could make it work, but it would take up a fair amount of space in my basement for a hobby that I’m not entirely sure I’m committed too (my interests usually ebb and flow through the years). I don’t need the portability of a job-site saw, but having something that can take up less space would be nice so long as I can get precision cuts.

Any ideas on what to get? Am I really screwing myself over in fine woodworking ability by getting a smaller saw compared to these 300-pound, 58” wide contractor saws with cast-iron tops?

I would like to have a sled that can handle like a 20” cross-cut. That’s what I’m doing right now with my little Cummins saw table, which has a pretty generous 10” of table in front of the blade! The Ridgid R4512 only has 11” of table in front of the blade, but some of the job-site saws only have like 5” of table in front. I was reasonably impressed with the Craftsman 41502 fence, though it too only has 6” of table in front. (And remember my gift card is for the orange store…I was just looking at Sears because they actually have things on display).


19 replies so far

View 716's profile

716

502 posts in 376 days


#1 posted 01-22-2016 04:38 PM

There is no alternative. You dad was right giving you a sound advice. Those small benchtop saws do not take much less real estate than Rigid R4512 and are more dangerous. They have their niche but even for a hobby Rigid R4512 would be incomparable better. Go for it.
Some will tell you Rigid R4512 have misalignment issues, this and that. But I watched countless videos and in almost every case with exception of a very few the reviewer has no ideal what he was doing.
So get that Rigid R4512, you won’t be sorry..
If you want lighter saw a Lowes Delta 36-725 is similar ( but your HD gift cards no good at Lowes :-)

-- It's nice!

View JayT's profile

JayT

4772 posts in 1670 days


#2 posted 01-22-2016 04:42 PM

Any decent table saw is going to take up that much space. You need a large top for stability of what you are cutting. The smaller job-site saws just don’t work well for large furniture pieces like you are talking about.

For starting out, how about trying to find a good used contractor style saw? I haven’t seen any part of the country that doesn’t have the ubiquitous Craftsman 113 on Craigslist periodically for under $200 (usually under $150). Capabilities are very similar to the Ridgid and if you decide the hobby is not for you, then you can sell it for the amount you paid. If you decide to stick with the hobby, then you can still sell it and upgrade in the future. You could still use your gift card for blades, clamps and other necessary items.

While the best option is a table saw, there are others. One that may work well for you would be a track saw. Home Depot can get both the Makita and DeWalt, so you could use your gift cards. They have the ability to make very accurate and clean rip and cross cuts and are safer to operate than a table saw. Plus, when you don’t need them, they don’t take up much space.

Last option would be to base the shop around a band saw. A good 14 inch or larger band saw is able to do the ripping, though the surface it leaves is not quite as clean as a good table saw blade. Cross cuts would have to be handled by hand or with a miter saw. Band saws tend to be a bit safer than table saws and take up much less space. There are quite a few professional woodworkers that do not own a table saw and use band saw(s) as the centerpiece of the shop. Michael Fortune is probably the biggest name.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

800 posts in 1568 days


#3 posted 01-22-2016 04:55 PM

Echo – get a R4512 before you get so frustrated you give up (or lose a finger).

The difference between jobsite and hybrid/contractor/cabinet saws is way more than just the size of the table. Compared to a jobsite saw, the R4512 has more power, more weight/less vibration, a better fence, and in general offers more room to grow with your hobby.

Could you do fine woodworking with a jobsite saw instead of something better? Absolutely. You (hypothetically) could also perform surgery with a sharp paring knife instead of a scalpel. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s ideal. So if space and cost isn’t an issue (and really, the R4512 is onle $100-$200 more than a top-end jobsite saw), why force yourself into that position?

The R4512 was my first saw when I started woodworking (in 2011), and I only upgraded last year because I started working routinely with 8/4 and thicker hardwoods, warranting an upgrade to a Grizzly cabinet saw. Mine didn’t have any alignment issues, so I can’t comment on them, but I can say that if you find one without those issues the R4512 is an excellent value.

I also had very good experiences with Ridgid’s LSA service – they sent me a new fence no questions asked when I had difficulty getting my original fence to retain alignment, and they fixed a broken capacitor at no charge (I just had to cart it to a service center). I’ve had equally good experiences with Ridgid’s LSA on other products, including the belt/spindle sander.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4202 posts in 1658 days


#4 posted 01-22-2016 04:57 PM

Almost anything would be a step up from what you have now… but I would run away screaming from that Ridgid. Like Jay pointed out, you can find C-man (and Delta) contractor saws almost any day of the week for cheap, and they are a proven design that has been in use for decades. If you don’t like it, you can sell it for what you paid.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

800 posts in 1568 days


#5 posted 01-22-2016 04:58 PM

Also, the R4512 has (in my opinion) REALLY well-designed safety features. I actually liked its riving knife/pawls/blade guard assembly much, much more than the one on my G1023RL. It was so much easier to remove/add/adjust.

For the record, I do acknowledge plenty of people hate the R4512. I think it might be the second-most divisive topic on this board after SawStop.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

78 posts in 315 days


#6 posted 01-22-2016 05:03 PM

The Lowes Delta 36-725 looks more manageable and 100 pounds lighter…thanks for the tip. I could drive 70 miles (one way) to get that and use the Home Depot gift card on other things. Hmm…hard to tell the dimensions though. The rails on the Ridgid is what spreads out to 58” wide and that just seems excessive for my needs. That’s a lot of space.

I am sort of amazed at the responses on this forum compared to another forum I posted on, where several said things like “Bosch 4100 is right for you and I do cabinet making”.

FWIW— I’ve always had the improvise “minimalist” mindset towards hobbies. I used to do darkroom photography and the forums insisted on this elaborate setup for effiicency, etc. I figured out a “one tray” method (instead of 4 trays) that yielded fantastic results with less fuss and space. Yes, it was slower. Hand-cutting dovetails is slower too.

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

78 posts in 315 days


#7 posted 01-22-2016 05:04 PM

Also I’m not finding much in the way of decent used tablesaws in my area. Madison, WI

http://madison.craigslist.org/tls

I’ve been watching awhile.

View WormytheChestnut's profile

WormytheChestnut

8 posts in 319 days


#8 posted 01-22-2016 05:21 PM

Looked at both the Delta 36-725 and the Rigid (same machine as Craftsman Professional).
I opted for the Delta. The overall quality seemed higher and the fence is quite a bit better IMHO.
Lowe’s honored the 20% HF coupon and I got the 10% military discount. Can’t beat it for $430 + tax.
But, you would probably like either. Both are a huge step up from a little table top saw.

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

78 posts in 315 days


#9 posted 01-22-2016 05:38 PM



Looked at both the Delta 36-725 and the Rigid (same machine as Craftsman Professional).
I opted for the Delta. The overall quality seemed higher and the fence is quite a bit better IMHO.
Lowe s honored the 20% HF coupon and I got the 10% military discount. Can t beat it for $430 + tax.
But, you would probably like either. Both are a huge step up from a little table top saw.

- WormytheChestnut

How wide is the Delta including the rails?

View 716's profile

716

502 posts in 376 days


#10 posted 01-22-2016 05:42 PM



Also I m not finding much in the way of decent used tablesaws in my area. Madison, WI

http://madison.craigslist.org/tls

I ve been watching awhile.

- ppg677

There are two camps: ones that like craigslist and the others that hate it. I am in the second camp. I just cannot justify the time spent to find a worthy deal. But you may luck out and buy a great saw for a fracture of the price (but you also can just buy someone’s problems )

-- It's nice!

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

753 posts in 1454 days


#11 posted 01-22-2016 05:49 PM

I have the R4510 (i think). Its the portable one at home depot. I have made some book cases and two sets of end tables and a coffee table with it. It does fine. It folds up when you don’t need it. I do indeed plan to upgrade, but I have the space to do so now. I’m sure a heavier saw is better, but this is very servicable. The fence is nice, the guards are easy to use, ZCIs are available, it comes with a decent miter gauge and push stick. Dust collection is OK.

I would highly recommend it for your situation, which was the situation I was in when I bought it. It costs about $400 most of the time out here. You aren’t out that much if you decide you don’t like the hobby. If you decide you do like it and want to dedicate more space, you can upgrade to a Grizzly or something later on.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

1984 posts in 1304 days


#12 posted 01-22-2016 08:29 PM

Test the alignment before you assemble it, then raise and lower as well and re-test. I could align mine to 4 or 5 thousands, but if I raised or lowered the blade it was out again. Always lowering the blade then raising up to the height you want helps. Also, the fence locks down at the front and rear and the rear lock can make side of the fence move. I found that leaning on the portion of the fence just past the front rail helped with reducing the movement.

My picture is a small oak cutoff that my 4512 sent into the garage door insulation.

All of my problems disappeared when I got a sawstop, so I think 716 is way off base.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

78 posts in 315 days


#13 posted 01-22-2016 08:36 PM



Test the alignment before you assemble it, then raise and lower as well and re-test. I could align mine to 4 or 5 thousands, but if I raised or lowered the blade it was out again. Always lowering the blade then raising up to the height you want helps. Also, the fence locks down at the front and rear and the rear lock can make side of the fence move. I found that leaning on the portion of the fence just past the front rail helped with reducing the movement.

My picture is a small oak cutoff that my 4512 sent into the garage door insulation.

All of my problems disappeared when I got a sawstop, so I think 716 is way off base.

- RobS888

I’ve never encountered kickback with my wimpy little Saw Table. The saw would just bind up and stop :-)

At this point I’m almost inclined to just get a Bosch 4100 for now. Sure seems like a hassle to deal with a 300-pound item that may have alignment problems. Then if the hobby sticks, I’ll upgrade. Will a Bosch 4100 really prevent me from making a decent chest of drawers?? I guess it goes back to my original question— what specifically does a nice jobsite saw (like the Bosch 4100) prevent me from doing?

The Lowes saw is tempting though.

View knotscott's profile (online now)

knotscott

7207 posts in 2835 days


#14 posted 01-22-2016 09:10 PM

A full size cast iron saw with a belt drive induction motor gives you much more potential and is nicer to use. The largest difference IMO is the amount of landing zone in front of the blade…a full size saw has at least twice the operating area in front of the blade. Mass means stability, and the full size saw will be much more stable, will have more motor torque, will be much quieter, is much easier to add accessories and upgrades to, is easier and cheaper to repair, will have better longterm reliability, and will tend to hold value better. You can also grow with it, as opposed to outgrowing it. The Bosch is near the top of hill for portable saws, but your still paying good money for the disadvantages of a much smaller work area, lighter weight materials, loud universal direct drive motors, etc. Portability is their main advantage…that’s it…they can cut wood, but are simply not in the same league as a decent full size saw.

I would opt for the Delta 36-725 over the R4512 if you can. The alignment issues with the R4512 didn’t effect every unit but were not imaginary. Many folks experienced an unfixable problem that was not due to operator error, and many more read about them here and on other forums…saying otherwise is kind of insulting to all those who experienced it. The alignment issues seen were not all the same either…some were a non-issue if the blade height was backed off a bit, but many others could not be corrected to an acceptable tolerance. All of those alignment issues have supposedly been corrected at the factory….but note that we’ve heard that rumor on numerous occasions over the past few years, only to have the issue pop up again, so just be aware of the history. Even if you get a good one, I think the fence on the 36-725 is better. Perhaps you could sell your HD card for a small discount and put the proceeds toward the Delta if HD can’t get one for you. Either way, both of these saws are much nicer saws IMO, and are worth finding a way to work into your shop.

If you just want a saw to tide you over for a while, get a used saw.

Blade and setup are going to ultimately determine how well any saw performs, so get both of those aspects right.

The ABCs of Table Saws

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 683 days


#15 posted 01-22-2016 09:50 PM


Test the alignment before you assemble it, then raise and lower as well and re-test. I could align mine to 4 or 5 thousands, but if I raised or lowered the blade it was out again. Always lowering the blade then raising up to the height you want helps. Also, the fence locks down at the front and rear and the rear lock can make side of the fence move. I found that leaning on the portion of the fence just past the front rail helped with reducing the movement.

My picture is a small oak cutoff that my 4512 sent into the garage door insulation.

All of my problems disappeared when I got a sawstop, so I think 716 is way off base.

- RobS888

I ve never encountered kickback with my wimpy little Saw Table. The saw would just bind up and stop :-)

At this point I m almost inclined to just get a Bosch 4100 for now. Sure seems like a hassle to deal with a 300-pound item that may have alignment problems. Then if the hobby sticks, I ll upgrade. Will a Bosch 4100 really prevent me from making a decent chest of drawers?? I guess it goes back to my original question— what specifically does a nice jobsite saw (like the Bosch 4100) prevent me from doing?

The Lowes saw is tempting though.

- ppg677

I have used the Bosch and it is a very good saw for it’s class.
I only upgraded when I wanted a full size cabinet saw but you can do a lot with the Bosch. The only thing I did was upgrade the fence to a Vega and that helped a lot. The fence that it came with left a lot to be desired.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com